Time to Vote

Secretary-Treasurer's Report - Fall 2018

Yes, it is that time of the year again, and yes, your Union is asking all of you and your family to support Local, State and National candidates and Propositions that support working families.

Your Local, your Joint Council and your International Union spend a lot of time evaluating candidates and issues that affect working people, and that is what leads to their recommendations. We have included those endorsements in the this newsletter.

I will give you one recent example of how politics affected more than 800 of Local 853’s members. Local 853 members employed at WeDriveU and Loop had turned down an offer from their employers, and the Local rejected the company’s Last, Best, and Final offer. But, instead of striking, the Local, with help from other Locals and the Joint Council, took action against the companies one morning in San Francisco. The Local also petitioned for a hearing in front of the Board of Supervisors stating that the companies were not in compliance with the Labor Harmony Agreement with the City of San Francisco.

So what happened? The Board of Supervisors wrote the companies a letter demanding that they appear at a hearing to explain their lack of labor peace. If they could not, they were in jeopardy of losing their right to use bus stops across the city. As soon as the companies received the letter, they asked to return to bargaining with a Federal Mediator, which we did, and proceeded to get one of the best contracts for shuttle drivers in the nation, as described on the front page.

This only happened because, over the years, we’ve been engaged in the political process in San Francisco and have worked to ensure that people are elected to the Board of Supervisors who understand our issues and how city policies impact union members. And once they’re in office, we’ve continued to educate them about the power they have to make the city one that works for working people.

Another example is with Gillig. For years, our local transit agency, AC Transit, was only buying buses from a European company, even though the largest bus manufacturer in the U.S. was located in their very county. Our first step was to work to get people elected to the AC Transit Board of Supervisors who understood the value of supporting local companies. Soon, AC Transit was contracting with Gillig for more buses each year.

Then, when Gillig grew so much—hiring hundreds of new workers at good Teamster wages— and the company needed to expand beyond its longtime Hayward facility, we went into action again. Gillig was being courted with tax breaks and other incentives by numerous states to relocate. We worked with the State of California to ensure that they could stay—not only in the state, but in the county—keeping those good jobs local.

We work to get the best contracts, but we also must be involved in politics, and we need each and every one of you to back us up.

SO VOTE.... Take our recommendations seriously, because every vote counts. And, the next time a D.R.I.V.E. Representative shows up at your worksite, sign up. EVERY VOTE COUNTS!